TORONTO, May 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Concern is growing among Ontario's business community about the state of
Ontario's finances, according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Today's provincial budget revealed that government spending will
increase by $3 billion in 2014-15 over the previous year. Meanwhile,
the deficit will increase to $12.5 billion and the aggregate debt will
grow to $289.3 billion.
"Businesses consistently tell us that above all else, they want the
provincial government to get its fiscal house in order," says Allan
O'Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "It's
disappointing to see today's deficit number and to see that spending
will actually increase this year."
Today's budget also unveils the government's plan to move forward with
an Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP), a decision that worries the
province's employers. A unique ORPP requires a separate provincial
pension bureaucracy. It also contributes to the fragmentation of
Canada's pension landscape, adding complexity and cost for companies
with employees across Canada. A recent Ontario Chamber of Commerce
report shows that only 23 percent of employers can afford the costs
associated with increased employer pension contributions.
At the same time, 86 percent of employers endorse the government's
commitment to introduce legislation for Pooled Registered Pension
Plans, a commitment reiterated in today's budget.
The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is pleased to see strategic investments
in the Ring of Fire and in transit and transportation infrastructure.
"We see these as strategic investments that will grow the economy,"
notes O'Dette. According to the Toronto Region Board of Trade,
congestion costs the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area $6 billion
dollars a year in lost productivity. A recent Ontario Chamber of
Commerce report reveals that the Ring of Fire will generate up to $25
billion in economic activity for the province, including $6.7 billion
in government revenue.
"Business expects government to be strategic and focus on the overall
business climate so that they can continue to create jobs and generate
wealth," O'Dette adds. "In some key areas, this budget falls short."
SOURCE: Ontario Chamber of Commerce
For further information:
Manager of Policy & Government Relations, Ontario Chamber of Commerce